USA Cycling, in partnership with gran fondo event organizer Gran Fondo National Series, has announced age group winners at USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championships planned in Asheville, North Carolina in July will automatically qualify to attend the 2022 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships.

In a break from tradition, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) will allow “American Style” gran fondo events, where cyclists only compete over short timed segments rather than an entire route, to qualify riders for the world championships.

Although the entire route at the USA Gran Fondo National Championship will be 100-miles in length, age group winners will only compete for 23-miles over four timed segments, including 3500 feet of climbing. At the first edition last year, the winning times over the four segments ranged from 1:08:00 to 1:38:00.

In contrast, the other two UCI Gran Fondo World Championship qualifying events in the USA require athletes to race over much longer distances to earn a starting bib at the worlds. UCI Cache Gran Fondo in Utah on 9 July is a 76-mile race with 1700 feet of climbing, while UCI Cheaha Challenge in Alabama on 15 May is a 100-mile race with over 9400 feet of climbing and very similar to the demanding 2022 world championship course.

For riders that due qualify, the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships will take place in Trento, Italy on 18 September 2022.

Photos: UCI GFWS